Building Speaking Confidence At Work
Building speaking confidence at work is critical to career success. According to Pumble, 73% of employers are looking for employees with strong communications skills. To be a strong communicator, you need to be confident.
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn where she discussed building speaking confidence at work.
Jessica shared tips and personal stories about how you can build speaking confidence at work and become a more confident communicator.
Being strategic and intentional with your communications will help you throughout your career. The way you approach others can impact how they receive your communications. Being a strategic and intentional communicator will make a difference in how you can carry yourself with confidence. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica shared several stories about how being strategic in her communications helped her advance her career. She shared three ways she was able to become a more confident communicator.
1. Mastering The Ask
Asking your manager for more leadership opportunities, or a raise can make you feel nervous. However, when you are confident about your ask, your manager will be much more likely to say yes. To gain confidence, you have to prepare.
Consider the following:
- Strong Case – To build a strong case, you want to answer the following questions – Why now? Who will it benefit, and why? Of course, your ask will benefit you, but if you can look at the bigger picture, your manager will be more likely to grant you your request. For example, if you pitch a project and want to take the lead, you could say, “This new project will help our department streamline processes which will increase productivity.” The project will give you a chance to show leadership, but more importantly, it will help the department overall. The key to building a strong case is to ensure you showcase how it will benefit others.
- Align Your Objectives – As you prepare for your ask, consider if your ask will cost money or resources, and where these will come from. You will also want to consider whether the investment return is worth it for the organization or team. For example, you may want to implement new software for your department. This will have an upfront cost. However, if you can showcase how this new software will actually save resources in the long run, you may have a better chance of getting it approved.
- Why You – When you go into your ask, you want to ensure you’ve considered why you are the right person for the job. For example, if you ask to lead a project, you will want to showcase why you can lead the project. You can talk about all of the projects you’ve assisted on, and what your responsibilities were. You can share how you’re prepared to lead this project. You also want to share why you want to do it.
Mastering the ask will help you build speaking confidence at work. Being a strategic and intentional communicator requires you to do the prep work ahead of time.
2. Communications Techniques
How you communicate is critical to career success. Your body language and tone of voice can show your confidence, or lack thereof. Because of this, you will want to ensure you are aware of your body language and tone of voice and how they can affect your communications.
Consider the following:
- Body Language – Your body language can be the biggest determining factor in how people perceive whether you are confident or not. Because of this, you will want to practice confident body language. There are several ways you can do this. For example, relaxing your shoulders and preventing them from creeping up can help you look less nervous and more confident. Using your hands to emphasize words and treating your hands as assets will help you practice confident body language.
- Tone of Voice – Your tone of voice can showcase confidence when used correctly. For example, speaking too quickly can come across as nervous energy. However, speaking too slowly may make others think you aren’t sure about what you are saying. Modulating and controlling your tone of voice will help you come across as confident.
Think about your body language and tone of voice, because these two things can help you carry yourself at work much more confidently.
3. Never Stop Learning
Communication is fluid. This means you must always think about your communications and how you can find opportunities to improve. Every communication situation will be different, so you can never stop learning.
Consider the following:
- Be Accountable – Building speaking confidence at work requires you to be accountable for finding opportunities to improve. For example, if you know you have to give a presentation at work and need help, it is up to you to find a course or a 1:1 communications coach to help you improve. You have to want to get better and hold yourself accountable to do it.
- Get Recognized – Great communicators become great leaders. The key is excellent communication. To be recognized and get that promotion, you must be recognized as a great communicator. The reason for this is those in leadership recognize people who are easy to understand. Those people stay top of mind for promotions, leadership opportunities, and more.
- Influencing – The higher you go in your career, the more critical communications become. This is because you are now responsible for influencing and motivating your team. You have to be a great communicator to accomplish these things. For example, if you need your team to get a project done, you have to explain all of the aspects of the project eloquently and your expectations clearly so everyone understands and can do their jobs.
As you move through your career, you must continue to learn how to improve your communications. Communications is an ever-evolving skill, and you can learn to be a confident communicator.
Building speaking confidence at work is critical to career success. Being strategic and intentional in what you say can help you cut down on your words, so the words you say are very impactful.
Check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel if you want to see the full LIVE version of Jessica’s conversation.
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- Discover your communications style so you know where to start. Over 4,000 people have found theirs here.
- Attend our monthly communication workshop to build communications confidence (new topics: public speaking, advocating for yourself, building credibility, etc) here.
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